What are the benefits of cod liver oil for dogs?
Your pet deserves a healthy and nutritious diet to support growth and vitality. In the past, the canine diet consisted of a variety of natural, unprocessed foods.
Unfortunately, with the convenience of processed pet foods, we may not be giving our favorite companions all the nutrients they need for optimal health.
One of the items high the list of missing nutrients may be omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3's are special fats that help support a healthy cellular environment and have been found to fight inflammation.
Your dog's food may contain adequate levels of omega-6 fats from vegetable oils, but are you giving enough omega 3's for your dog? If not, you may need to need to supplement with a high quality omega 3 supplement, such as cod liver oil.
Cod liver oil may
Research has shown humans should strive for a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 of 1:1 in their diets.
On the other hand, veterinarians recommend a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 of 5:1 to 10:1 in dogs.
Cod liver oil contains the essential fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These nutritious fats provide the framework for growing a healthy skin and coat, flexible joints, strong heart, sharp eyesight and youthful energy.
Giving omega 3's to dogs may address many nutritional imbalances and can improve your dog's overall health.
Cod liver oil is a natural fish oil that provides the omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, as well as naturally occurring levels of Vitamin A and D.
The omega 3's in cod liver oil supports:
skin and coat health
Vitamin A in cod liver oil supports:
Vitamin D in cod liver oil supports:
bone and joint health
phosphorus and calcium balance for healthy bone cells
Wouldn't you want to give these health benefits to your dog?
Science Diet Omega 3
Now you can get specialized dog foods that have omega 3 fatty acids added to them. However, make sure to look at the label to see what the source of the omega 3's are.
Many dog food manufacturers may use plant sources of omega 3's. For example, flaxseed is an excellent plant source of the omega 3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid, and it's commonly added to some dog foods.
Unfortunately, flaxseed doesn't provide any EPA or DHA. Some veterinarians recommend your source of omega 3 fatty acids should provide adequate amounts of EPA and DHA. One of the best sources is nutritional supplements such as fish oils or cod liver oil.
With the convenience of modern day nutritional supplements, you can now give your dog cod liver oil by capsules or liquid.
Many people simply pour the cod liver oil directly into the dog food or pierce a fish oil capsule and mix its contents into the feed.
So now that we know the benefits of giving our pets cod liver oil, how do you choose the right one for your dog?
I did an internet search for "cod liver oil for dogs" and found there aren't a lot of companies that manufacture cod liver oils for dogs.
One company that did catch my eye was Nordic Naturals. This company has been producing fish oils and cod liver oils for the last 20 years. They have a wide range of pharmaceutical-grade fish oils for both humans and animals.
All their fish oils go through extensive third-party testing to ensure there are no detectable levels of heavy metals, environmental toxins and other contaminants. They claim to use fish from only the cleanest ocean waters. This is to ensure you're getting a fresh, pure fish oil that won't cause fishy burps, won't become rancid, or have a bad taste.
They have a cod liver oil called Nordic Naturals Pet Cod Liver Oil for Dogs & Cats. These fish oils are specially formulated for pet consumption.
To ensure these are safe for your pet, they don't come flavored with rosemary or other flavorings found in other omega 3 supplements.
Here's what you get in a bottle of Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil for Pets:One teaspoon dose provides:
Derived from 100% Arctic cod
625 mg DHA
410 mg EPA
225 mg other omega 3 fatty acids
Vitamin E - 7 iu
Vitamin A - 450 iu minimum
Vitamin D - 2 iu
Cats: 1/4 teaspoon daily
Dogs: 0 - 20 lbs - 1/4 teaspoon
20 - 55 lbs - 1/2 teaspoon
over 55 lbs - 1 teaspoon
Directions for Use: Apply oil directly to food or serve by itself.
I think this is a really good product to use for your dog or cat. You can get it 8 oz and 16 oz bottles and Suggested Retail prices are $19.99 for the 8 oz bottle and $39.99 for the 16 oz size. If you shop around, you may find them at cheaper prices, both online and in your local pet food store.
For example, you can save about 15% off the retail prices of Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil for Pets at Amazon.com. You'll find another link below if you want to compare prices. You can also find other fish oil products for pets. Using cod liver oil for dogs is a great way to nourish and fortify your favorite companion's health. Good nutrition and a loving home is all you need to keep your dog healthy and happy. Please remember to consult with your dog's veterinarian before using cod liver oil.
Nutritional Alterations and the Effect of Fish Oil Supplementation in Dogs with Heart Failure. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 1998;12(6):440–8. Freeman L, Rush J, Kehayias J, et al.
Review: pharmacological manipulation of docosahexaenoic-phospholid biosynthese in photo-receptor cells: implications in retinal degeneration. Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics 1994;10(3):591–604. Bazan N, de Turco R.
Evaluation of dietary n-6 to n-3 fatty acid ratios on leukotriene B synthesis in dog skin and neutrophils. Veterinary Dermatology 1994;5(4):163–173. Vaughn D, Reinhart G, Swaim S, et al.